Arizona school counselors gear up to meet students’ emotional needs

Jul 8, 2020, 5:50 AM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Students may need extra social-emotional support when Arizona schools reopen in August, and counselors are preparing to help.

“Once we can get back to school in a safe environment, I think it’s really important that we go in with a trauma-informed lens,” said Janine Menard, a member of the Arizona School Counselors Association’s board of directors and a counselor with the Tolleson Elementary School District.

She explained for some students, the coronavirus may have caused them to experience trauma, which can directly impact their ability to learn.

The trauma might come from seeing family members get COVID-19, having parents who lose their job due to the pandemic or being socially isolated for so long.

Meanwhile, other students may have experienced trauma from living in a home where domestic violence or abuse exists.

Menard said often schools are the place where students go to feel safe. But with schools being closed and many summer programs canceled, they haven’t had anywhere else to go.

“That makes all of us educators worried about what’s happening to them at home,” Menard said.

She added many students will likely also come to school with anxiety.

Students may exhibit anxiety because of changes in routine at school or fears about getting the virus from teachers or classmates.

Menard said meeting the social-emotional needs of students will be critical.

“The problem in Arizona is that not every school has a school counselor,” she said, adding we have the nation’s highest student-to-counselor ratio.

The latest numbers from the American School Counselor Association show Arizona’s student-to-counselor ratio is 905-to-1. That’s twice the national average of 430-to-1 and well above the association’s recommended ratio of 250-to-1.

“That’s going to be a big concern,” Menard said, referring to how schools will address students’ mental health needs with such a low number of school counselors in Arizona.

“I worry there will be some students who will fall through the cracks.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Twitter Photo/City of Mesa)...

ASU film, digital media school opens in downtown Mesa

And ... action! Students in film, video production and digital technology will begin fall classes this week at the new Arizona State University campus in downtown Mesa.
11 hours ago
Member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce participate in a regional salon dinner in ...
Kevin Stone

Hispanic chamber holding national conference in Phoenix this fall, with preview event Thursday

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2022 national conference in Phoenix this fall, with a kick-off reception set for Thursday night.
11 hours ago
(AP Photo, File/Nati Harnik)...
Associated Press

Arizona judges reject challenges to 2 voter initiatives for November ballot

Judges rejected challenges to two Arizona voter initiative on Wednesday, siding with proponents of a measure limiting so-called predatory debt collection and for one that would require people who fund political campaigns through nonprofit groups to be identified.
11 hours ago
Colleen Nussnaumer (Photo via Peoria Police Department)...

Missing West Valley woman found safe, Silver Alert canceled

A Silver Alert for a missing West Valley woman was canceled Thursday after she was found safe, authorities said.
11 hours ago
Gary Moddrell (Photo via Peoria Police Department)...

Silver Alert issued for Peoria man with memory problems

A Silver Alert was issued for a Peoria man who has been missing since Tuesday, authorities said.
11 hours ago
Angela Pike watches her fourth grade students at Lakewood Elementary School in Cecilia, Ky., as the...
Griselda Zetino

Where are the teachers? A look at Arizona’s struggle to fill positions

Elementary teachers are some of the hardest jobs to fill for schools in Arizona, according to a recent survey.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Arizona school counselors gear up to meet students’ emotional needs